It took 3 years before I decided to go back to grad school, but one does wonder what it would’ve been like if I had done them back to back. So I asked my dear friend…
Q: “As one who went straight on to get her masters of architecture, what would you say are the benefits over taking a gap year?”
A: Do you stop half way through a marathon?
To train for a marathon, takes time, effort, sweat, long distance exhaustion, and you, at your most glorious moment of running, want to stop before the dream is finished?
I think the difference for me was once I had my brain wrapped around the idea of “becoming an architect,” my realization was that undergraduate school was not accomplishing that goal. For me, undergraduate school turned out to be just a stepping stone into graduate school. Since graduate school was always the goal, it wasn’t a hard decision to continue on.
I would say there are several benefits to this. I was able to focus on school, traveling and meeting with people of different graduate schools, and never once having to wonder about sly college nuisances as follows:
- Will my scholarships and grants transfer after I take time off?
- Where will I get a professional job or just a job that pays the bills while I “find myself?”
- Do I move back home over a year’s break? Or move out completely? If I moved out completely I would find myself completely emotionally exposed for graduate school as my parents, at the time, would likely have turned away from me and that decision.
- Would I be accepted into a 2-year program instead of a 3-year program after a break year?
- I was already “training” to be in school anyway, why lose my momentum?
The only difficult decision was finding a graduate school that worked for me but yes, I went onto graduate school and I don’t regret it. I was exhausted my final year, but now that I’ve graduated, I can’t help but know my time wasn’t wasted, my work will pay off, and my current marathon is complete!